Varietal is an adjective that describes a wine made from one grape variety. Sometimes, varietal wines may have minimal amounts of other grape varieties included, as long as those other grape varieties do not exceed percentages prescribed by law in the particular region.
So, when you have a bottle of wine that is made from (primarily) just one grape, you are correct to call it a varietal wine.
The 2007 Merlot from Township 7, pictured at right, is a rich red wine made from primarily Merlot (92%) and a bit (8%) of Cabernet Sauvignon. It is quite rightly labelled as a varietal wine.
In order to call and label his or her wine a varietal, a winemaker must be sure the dominant variety—the name of the grape that is going on the label—is at these minimum levels:
- Canada (B.C. + Ontario) - 85%
- European Union - 85%
- Alsace - 100%
- United States - 75%
- Varietal = wine made from one variety of grape
- Variety = type of grape
Is there a wine word you'd like defined? Tell me what it is and I'll feature it one Wednesday. Of course, I'll credit you with the suggestion.
Cheers to you!
Copyright © 2011 Kathleen Rake. All rights reserved.